29 Jan 2121

National highway or State highway, which is situated within the limits of any Municipal Corporation or Municipality or Town Committee, shall not be treated as restrictions under The Assam Excise Rules, 2016 - Gauhati High Court

Case : Diganta Saikia and Anr v. The State of Assam and 6 Ors. Writ Petition (C)/4440/2020

Court : Gauhati High Court

Bench : Justice Suman Shyam

Decided on : 29 Jan 2121

Relevant Statutes

Rule 289(2), Rule 294 of the Assam Excise Rules, 2016

Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. The petitioners were aggrieved by the move on the part of the Sivasagar District administration to issue IMFL “ON” license in favour of respondent no.7.

2. Both the petitioner had the basic grievance about that the IMFL “ON” shop is being sought to be established inside 100 meters from the midpoint of the national highway in violation of the orders passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India and this place also comes under the prohibited area as prescribed by Rule 289(2) of the Assam Excise Rules, 2016.

3. The petitioners approached this Honourable High Court in order to solve their complaint because it has not been addressed yet.

The Issue(s) of the Case

Whether the complaint filed by the petitioner comes under the ambit of The Assam Excise Rules, 2016?

Whether this writ petition is maintainable under the provision of Rule 289(2) of the Assam Excise Rules, 2016?

The Observations of the Court

1. The Honourable Gauhati High Court look upon the Rule 289 read with Rule 294 of the Assam Excise Rules, 2016, it casts a duty upon the authorities to make proper verification of all public complaints and only thereafter, IMFL “ON” license can be issued but in this case, no such process is followed.

2. It has been found in the enquiry report dated 21th September 2020 submitted by Inspector of Excise, Amguri that the petitioner does not have any locus standi in this case because they reside more than 100m away from the proposed site and it also does not violate the orders passed by the Honourable Supreme Court dated 15th December 2016 and 31st March 2017.

3. The Honourable Gauhati High Court consider Rule 289(2), part of a national highway or State highway, which is situated within the limits of any Municipal Corporation or Municipality or Town Committee, shall not be treated as restrictions. Then, this Rule does not cover the present facts and conditions.

4. A perusal of the report dated 07/10/2020 submitted by the Inspector of Excise, Amguri, indicates that the authorities have duly considered the public complaints made in this case and found them to be baseless.

5. The contents of the enquiry report submitted by Inspector of Excise, Amguri dated 07/10/2020 and 21/09/2020 clearly stated that the proposed site of the IMFL “ON” business of the petitioner does not in any manner violate the provisions of Rule 289(2) of the Assam Excise Rules, 2016.

The Decision Held by the Court

1.The Honourable Gauhati High Court finds sufficient force in the submission of Mr. Mahanta that while issuing the IMFL “ON” license, the authorities would be duty-bound to strictly adhere to the provisions of Rule 294 of the Assam Excise Rules, 2016 and follow the prescribed procedure.

2.  The Honourable Gauhati High Court disposed of the writ petition as well as the IA(C) No. 2218/2020 by vacating the interim order dated 06/11/2020, thereby granting leave to the respondent authorities to process the IMFL “ON” license in accordance with the law.

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